Sunday, January 29, 2017

Marathon #3, here I come.

Another awesome mileage-filled week!  I am feeling really good about the likelihood of running the Hatfield McCoy marathon in June!  The next price-hike is in April, so I'm not signing up until then.  I would like to be marathon-ready before I sign up so that there is little chance of repeating the out-of-shape fiasco that was my second marathon.

This week : 
M : 8.7 / 7:37 / 417 ft
W : 7.3 / 7:45 / 427 ft
R : group 10.5 / 8:06 / 538 ft
(5.6 with 5:00 group, 4.9 with 6:00 group)
Su : 18.1 / 7:57 / 958 ft 
(14.5 w/Ben)
total miles : 44.6

Despite my long run last Sunday, I felt good on Monday and ran some solid miles, with a good hill push in the middle.  I was due for a day off on Tuesday, which was well-timed, as I wanted to watch my school's middle school basketball game that evening.  

Wednesday is my late day at school, and it's generally hard to drag myself out for a run afterwards, especially since it's impossible to finish a long run in daylight at this time of year, but once I got out the door I felt pretty good, and incorporated several short steep hill climbs into my run.  

I had hoped to start running as soon as I got home on Thursday and get as many miles as possible, but I was dragging during the day and decided it was better to wait til Sunday for my long run.  I still wanted to get at least 10, so I decided the best plan was to run with the 5:00 group and then continue with the 6:00 group.  It worked out pretty well; we hit the parking lot right around 5:55 and Amanda was there and ready, so I was able to keep running without stopping.  She and I ran a mile loop around the neighborhood and came back through the parking lot to pick up Corey, and then the 3 of us ran together.  Amanda got the easy 5 she wanted, and I got the easy 10+ I wanted.  

Temps were in the 30s, after being close to 70 the day before...
So hard to warm up after the run. 

I took my well-deserved 2 days off after that, resting up for today's long run.  I had a 15 mile loop mapped out, but knew I would add on after the loop unless I was completely depleted.  The plan was for 3 of us to run together, but 1 had to back out.  Thankfully Ben was still able to join me, as I'm not sure I would have faced this loop alone right now.  We headed out in thick, wet, snow flurries at a nice easy pace.  Our route was gently rolling hills until about 10.5 miles in when we had the steeper hill climb up Whites Mill Rd.  We reached the top around 13 miles, and I was feeling strong, so at that point I knew I would run at least 16.  Ben headed off when I was around 14.5 miles in, as he was a mile ahead of me from starting at his home instead of mine, and he didn't need the miles I was going for.  As I continued on alone, I ticked off some more miles, and new I could make it to 18.  The last time I ran 18 was 11 months ago, and later that day I went hiking, sprained my ankle pretty badly, and stopped trying to do long runs.  I am determined not to repeat that fiasco this time!  

Facing the long climb up Whites Mill. 
It gets steeper the closer you get to the top.

10.5 miles in and facing the toughest hill climb of the day but still smiling!

The snow has turned to freezing rain but I just finished 18.1 miles and I feel GREAT!

My next race is 2 weeks from today, the 10 mile Blacksburg Classic.  I'm going to suspend my 7 mile minimum mileage rule at some point between now and then to make sure I'm rested enough to race well, but I haven't yet decided when I will suspend it.  Could be tomorrow, could be next Monday...we will see.  So far I've run this race 3 times and finished a minute slower each time, so I definitely want to reverse that trend this year!  I do plan to get my weekly mileage back down around 30 for the next two weeks, and then start bringing it back up afterwards.  After the Blacksburg Classic I hope to really focus on training for the Blue Ridge 1/2.  It is time for a course PR in this race, and to either win or be a lot closer to the first place winner than I have been over the last few years!

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